Togolese president Faure Gnassingbe on Thursday called for smooth presidential election on 28 February, 2010.
My wish is that the presidential election takes place in peace and the spirit of violence banned forever, he said, urging youth to work for peace, national cohesion and national reconciliation. In his New Year message, the Togolese president said whatever the stakes of the election were, his compatriots should respect the freedoms of elections and be serious about the choice of their candidates.
We have the obligation to go forward and further, he said, and pledged his commitment to guarantee the implementation of the political agreement signed in August 2006 by the country's political stakeholders and civil society.
He urged his fellow countrymen to light the fire of peace, tolerance, reconciliation of hearts and patriotism. President Gnassingbe also announced that the remains of the country's first pre sident, Sylvanus Olympio, will soon be exhumed from neighbouring Benin for burial in Togo. He said that the government would take all steps for Togolese give to their first president the honours due to his position.
President Olympio was killed on 13 January 1963 in a coup, the first in Africa. He was buried in Agou, Benin, not far from the cemetery located between the two countries.